PUTNEY >> Recognizing state and local government leaders whose service, research, and action influence and impact large numbers of children and families, the National AfterSchool Association has named Rep. Mike Mrowicki (Windham-4) as one of the 2016 "Most Influential in Afterschool."
Prior to his time in the State House, Mrowicki served as the former Executive Director of Putney Family Services. In that role, he was actively involved in overseeing the OASIS afterschool program, a 21st Century Community Learning Center and licensed afterschool and summer program. In 2015, Mrowicki introduced H.391, a bill aimed at increasing access to expanded learning opportunities across the state. This bill helped to pave the way for the passing of Act 48 in Spring 2015 that established the Expanded Learning Opportunities Special Fund.
"As someone who ran an afterschool site for 12 years, I know support for these services inspires students to better attendance, greater accomplishment in diverse ways, and more understanding and accomplishment in socio-emotional competencies," stated Mrowicki.
Mrowicki also sits on the House Human Services Committee. In that position, Mrowicki has been a strong advocate for children and families and fought for increased childcare subsidies; more manageable workloads for childcare services staff; stronger protection For children at risk; and a more prominent place on the Vermont political landscape for youth services.
"Representative Mrowicki knows the important role that afterschool and summer programs play in the lives of children, youth and families," said Vermont Afterschool Executive Director Holly Morehouse, whose organization nominated Mrowicki for the award. "He understands the challenges and rewards involved in being on the front line running a program and working with the kids. He has also been an amazing champion, helping the field in Vermont find our voice and we are incredibly grateful for his commitment to this work."
The NAA Most Influential Leaders honors 37 state and local government officials across the nation for being strong advocates and supporters of afterschool and expanded learning opportunities. NAA is the membership association for professionals who work with children and youth in diverse school and community-based settings to provide a wide variety of extended learning opportunities and care during out-of-school hours.
Members include afterschool program directors, coordinators, sponsors, front-line staff, school leaders, principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, board of education members, non-profit leaders, advocates, community leaders, policymakers, researchers and others.
The full list of the 2016 NAA's Most Influential can be found at naaweb.org/most-influential-in-gvmt.